CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Old Dominion faced its second No. 1 ranked team in two weeks Friday and for the second time, the Lady Monarchs passed the test. Old Dominion scored three unanswered goals in a 3-1 win at No. 1 North Carolina to move to a perfect 7-0 on the year.
The second-ranked Lady Monarchs have now knocked off six teams ranked in the Top 10, with four of those squads ranked fifth or better. Old Dominion is a perfect 3-0 against the Atlantic Coast Conference, outscoring those rivals by a combined 11-2.
Old Dominion trailed for the first time all season when North Carolina scored off a penalty corner in the 16th minute. However, the Lady Monarchs did not wait long to respond.
Sophomore Kati Nearhouse dished the ball to Kathryn Kirk inside the circle and the senior blasted a shot past the keeper into the left side of the cage just 54 seconds after the Tar Heels goal.
The Lady Monarch goal broke a 184-minute scoreless streak that the North Carolina defense boasted. The contest remained tied at the half with the Tar Heels holding a 6-0 edge in penalty corners and a 3-1 advantage in shots at the intermission.
Old Dominion came out in attack mode to start the second half, earning the first two penalty corners and getting off the first three shots of the period. The Lady Monarch pressure paid off in the 44th minute as junior Christy Longacre rifled a penalty corner shot past North Carolina’s goalie to put Old Dominion up 2-1.
With just under 10 minutes remaining, the Tar Heels earned a penalty corner and North Carolina head coach Karen Shelton took a timeout before her team attempted it. Out of the quick break, Shelton pulled her goalie to provide an extra offensive player for the Heels.
North Carolina was unsuccessful on the corner, but continued to attack and keep the ball on its side of the field. The Tar Heels got off five shots and earned four corners in the final 9:22 of the contest.
Old Dominion’s defense had an answer though for every tactic North Carolina threw at it and finally, the Lady Monarchs took advantage of the Tar Heel pressure.
In the 62nd minute, Old Dominion gained possession and a streaking Emma Batten controlled the ball against a pair of backpedaling North Carolina defenders. The senior from the United Kingdom weaved her way through the defenders and once inside the circle, blasted a shot into the empty cage.
The goal for Batten was her team-leading ninth of the season.
Although North Carolina held a commanding 11-2 edge in penalty corners, Old Dominion was only out-shot by four (10-6). Incredibly strong defensive play forced senior goalkeeper Devon Seifert to make just one save, but it was a marvelous one.